Photo: Two girls are playing on "swings" - leaves of a fourteen-meter-long hollow vegetable in Datang village in the central Chinese city of Changsha. / Photo: hnol. net
The cultivator of the fourteen-meter-long crop, Li Hui, planted the water spinach on the roof of the house she was living in. The building is only nine-meters tall thus the long leaves of the expanding vegetable hang down to the ground, forming a natural "green waterfall", Hunan-based Sanxiang City Express reports.
It is almost unbelievable that the leaves are so strong that many local children are fond of using them as swings.
Li Hui said that she bought the seeds of this extraordinary plant in March, only hoping it could provide shade for the house. However, the vegetable grew much faster than she anticipated.
Li knew the growing habits of the plant very well so she lovingly watered it twice a day at certain times and regularly added farmyard manure.
Now, the colossal water spinach can already shade the whole house from the sun. "It functions like an effective air conditioning system. I feel cool inside," Li said happily.
The "green waterfall" had become a hit in the small town. Visitors, local growers, and especially kids, like to stop for a while to observe or play with the vegetable.
When the frost descends at the end of October the plant may wither, however, Li was confident that her vegetable could continue growing and become leafier.
A teacher with the Hunan Agricultural University was also surprised that the vegetable could be so abundant on a roof!
She described the water spinach, also knows as Hollow vegetable , water celery, swamp cabbage, water convolvulus or water morning-glory, as a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as a leaf vegetable. It is most commonly grown in China's Yangtze River drainage area and some southern provinces including Guangdong.